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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview with Lisa Bloom

Aired August 5, 2003 - 19:31   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Athletes in trouble. Let's start off with Mike Tyson. Here's good news, if Mike Tyson owes you money you're not alone. The bad news he's filing for bankruptcy protection even though Tyson's estimated to have made more money than any fighter in history. The idea Tyson might need protection from anyone, let alone accountants, might be ludicrous until you crunch the numbers. We did. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Just for losing last year to Lennox Lewis he made an estimated $20 million. With pay paydays like that and a share of the pay-per-view fees, Tyson has pulled in an estimated $300 million. He could have made more, if he hadn't racked up the prison time. And if biting Evander Holyfield hadn't cost him a suspension and fine, minus $3 million. Who knows how much he's lost in lawsuits or to the managers he claims ripped him off. Then there's his defense attorneys in the late '90s, that's $9 million. A single birthday party, $410,000. Pagers and cell phones, $230,000. By one estimate, enough for a local call lasting four years and 137 days. Pet care, $8,100, though a lot of that was tiger chow, which runs pricey. He still owes $78,000 for rugs, $30,000 to a Hawaiian resort and a reported $174,000 for a custom-made 80 carat necklace.

MIKE TYSON, BOXER: You have tax problems I can still go out and spend a million dollars on clothes if I want to. It kills everybody that I live my life the way I want to.

COOPER: Bottom line, Tyson then, $300. Tyson now, Chapter 11. Managers, you don't end up suing -- priceless.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Where does Mike Tyson stand now and why the checkered history with managers?

Court TV anchor Lisa Bloom is back with us now for all things iron mike. Thanks for being with us.

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: He's got a long list of debts who gets paid off first?

BLOOM: The IRS. Mike Tyson may have finally met his match. The IRS is the number one creditor in his bankruptcy filing. He owes them over $13 million. They're not going to go away easy. In fact, this whole bankruptcy may be about his tax debt to the IRS. They're by far his biggest creditor.

COOPER: He wants time to just protection for a little while.

BLOOM: You can be sure the IRS has noticed Mike Tyson owes them $13 million and has not rolled over and said hey no problem. They have probably come after him first by way letters threatening him with some kind of civil liability, even criminal liability, that's possible. By filing in bankruptcy, Chapter 11 bankruptcy, what Mike Tyson has done through his lawyers is said I need help. My debt is overwhelming me. You judge, take charge of the situation, help me with this IRS debt, with a $4 million to the British Tax Authorities and other debts. That's what the court will do.

COOPER: That's the common miss conception about bankruptcy. Doesn't mean you don't have any money. It means you're seeking protection. You want breathing room and want someone else to help you with your money.

BLOOM: A multimillionaire like Mike Tyson files under Chapter 11, just like an airline might do, just like Chrysler might do. They're still in business, it's a reorganization. Not like Chapter 7 which is a liquidation, where essentially you're throwing in the towel.

COOPER: You know, when you read the list of the creditors it's also like a former business manager and former like sort of business adviser, money adviser. You know, when you're not paying your own money advisers and lawyers, that's not a good sign.

BLOOM: You know, you're right. His new bankruptcy attorney has essentially blamed his old financial managers for the state of affairs that he's in now. But Mike Tyson also has to blame himself. Your report was wonderful showing the excessive jewelry, Ferraris, some of the money he spent on...

COOPER: He makes MC Hammer looks like he was frugal.

BLOOM: Hey, you know, it's tough to get by on $300 million these days. You know, Mike Tyson needs a little help.

COOPER: Does this effect his suit against his former manager, against Don King. He also now is facing legal trouble.

Will this in any way effect that?

He's being pursued...

BLOOM: In a couple ways. The lawsuits will go on. Where Mike Tyson is a plaintiff, that's good. The bankruptcy court wants him to bring money into the state. Where he's getting sued it's a little stickier, because anybody who gets a judgment against Mike Tyson now, may not collect 100 cents on the dollar. It may make people a little bit more reluctant to go after him because there may not be anything for them at the end of the line.

COOPER: Lisa Bloom, thanks very much. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com




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